I have several word documents (.docx) - I need to do some copying/pasting between multiple pairs of documents, so I opened two instances of word beside each other and intended to drop the twin files I'm working with each onto its own copy of word to work with them in pairs.

However, when trying to open a file this way, Word is treating the file as a template - it open the file, but as a new document, so when I save, I have to enter the filename. However, if I simply double click the file to open as one normally might do, it opens as expected and when I save, it saves to the original file.

Is this normal behavior? (I don't see anything in the application options that controls this behavior and couldn't find anything on google.)


On my side if I drag a word document into an already running instance of Microsoft Word it will insert the dragged document as an embedded object (you can test this is the case by right clicking on it and there should be a menu item called "Document Object").

If this matches up on your side then the problem is your not opening the document by dragging it into a blank document, you are embedding it. This also explains why you are asked to enter a file name when you go save the document as it's still a blank document.

The solution is to open the word documents directly from disk as you normally would and then position them side by side (you can do this in Windows 7 just by dragging the windows to the left and right of the screen).

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  • You're right. While testing this theory, I noticed however that if you drop the file onto the Title Bar of the MSWord instance, it will then physically open the file, rather than embedding it. (I swear I tried that yesterday though.) – tbone Mar 28 '13 at 21:04

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